Falling Out of Love with the Civil War

On Thursday morning, as the President of the United States tweeted his tacit support of the Confederacy, three different friends sent me messages. Each was struggling with the same thing: how do we convince our friends and families that statues of former Confederates need to come down? One friend had spent the previous evening in… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news 98 years of fallen women. Challenging pioneer memory. How barbed wire changed America. Food propaganda in the world wars. Toppling monuments, a visual history. Reflections on history and Harry Potter. Explore the history of health in Boston. Medievalists respond to Charlottesville. Women, disability, and… Read more →

More Recent Articles

What’s Truly Outrageous About Intersex?

On August 5, the World News Daily Report published an article that has been circulating on my Facebook newsfeed every day since: “Hermaphrodite Impregnates Self, Gives Birth to Hermaphrodite Twins.” Never mind that at the bottom of the webpage, the World News Daily Report publishes the following disclaimer: that it “assumes all responsibility for the… Read more →

Greek engraving of a woman sitting on a high stool, holding a bowl and a feather, and facing a man leaning with his hips thrust at her.

A Boy or A Girl? Sex Selection, Regimen, and Fertility in Ancient Greece

Selecting the sex of an embryo brings up a host of ethical, economic, and political considerations. When the issue arises in the western media, the focus is most often on Assisted Reproductive Technologies, such as IVF, or in the context of genetic research (Sex selection: Getting the Baby You Want and Why We Should Consider… Read more →

An 1861 painting of the Lincoln family in muted black and white. Abraham and Mary Todd are seated at either end of a table. Abraham is reading from a book. One son stands behind the table, one leans on Abraham's chair, and one is seated near Mary Todd looking toward the viewer

A Historian’s Trip to the Graveyard

bardo, noun (In Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death. Origin: Tibetan bár-do, from bar “interval” + do “two.”1 For someone who spends their time obsessing over history, I don’t read much historical fiction. Given… Read more →

A burly man is holding a stick of celery in one hand and a fork with a tomato on it in the other. Before him is a plate of nutritious food

Real Men & Real Food: The Cultural Politics of Male Weight Loss

When Weight Watchers first launched an online program “customized just for guys” in 2007, one of their advertisements proclaimed, “Real men don’t diet.” This counterintuitive declaration evoked the questions that animate my current research. I’m analyzing how the consumer culture constructs notions of “real men” through depictions of food and the body, particularly during moments… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Reclaiming stolen history. Salvador Dalí’s cookbook. The harmful history of “gypsy.” What to do about Charlottesville. The hippies of 1970s Soviet Union. The surprising origins of Kotex pads. How capitalism cornered authenticity. The wartime origins of farmers markets. The racism behind alien mummy hoaxes…. Read more →